What was your childhood like?
As the youngest of four, I got to learn from all the mistakes my older brother and sisters made. Plus I got to be our mom’s favorite!
What are one or two indelible memories you have of where you grew up?
I remember our dad playing with us and acting so goofy that he would laugh until he cried. I also remember our black dachshund, Franz, switch between being a best friend/playmate and a parent.
How did you become a writer?
I was working with Doug Sherman in a ministry called Career Impact Ministries when NavPress approached us about writing a book on the integration of faith and work. That’s how I coauthored Your Work Matters to God, and that led to another 24 books and more since 1987. I love writing because I love to make an impact, and writing gives me a powerful means of doing that.
How do you engage with God? What is your spiritual life like?
By the grace of God, I was born to parents who were highly devoted followers of Christ. Had my family been otherwise, I am fairly certain that I would not be a believer today. I saw the gospel lived out every day in real time and in real situations. So when my mom explained to me at age 4-1/2 why Jesus died on the cross, it made perfect sense and I willingly accepted His gift of grace. My spiritual life is a daily, vital relationship with Christ in which I learn and discover something new every single day.
Describe a time in your life (a season or a single experience) when you vividly encountered God.
In my book, The Light That Never Dies: A Story of Hope in the Shadows of Grief, I describe how I heard God’s voice say to me a year after my first wife died, “She’s alive, you know.” Those words and their implications brought instant comfort and renewed life to my soul out of the haze of grief and darkness I had been experiencing all during that year.
What is your favorite Scripture verse or passage, and why?
Wow, where do I even begin?! In the end, I’d have to go with Psalm 27:4: “I have asked the Lord for one thing—this is what I desire! I want to live in the Lord’s house all the days of my life, so I can gaze at the splendor of the Lord and contemplate in his temple.” The word translated “splendor” means “beauty” or “delightfulness.” David’s entire life was informed by a vision of what he called “the house of the Lord.” He even aspired to build that house, though God told him that was not for him to do. But the vision speaks of David’s yearning to just delight himself in God’s delightfulness. That’s what I most want, I think. I mean, what else could be better than to just immerse oneself in Someone who is perfect good and beauty and love and joy?
What experiences compelled you to write your latest book?
It’s a combination of (1) a life-message about the importance of God-given giftedness; (2) having raised three daughters and paying attention to each of their unique forms of giftedness; and (3) learning from thousands of clients at our consulting practice called The Giftedness Center how parents can bless their children when they honor their child’s giftedness, but also do profound harm when they block it or shame it.
When you were writing this book, how did your stage of life affect your perspective?
This is one of those books where I say, “It took me about 66 years to write this book.” Honestly, this book is a collection of my lifetime and my sister’s lifetime of being raised by our parents and then having children of our own who are now adults—as well as all that we’ve learned from our clients.
What is your greatest hope for your readers?
Our hope is to instill both confidence and competence—or wisdom—in our readers (parents particularly). So many parents are scared to death that they’re going to mess up their child. We say that doesn’t need to happen—and won’t happen if parents pay attention to their child’s unique, God-given design. But we go beyond just giving them an inspiring message by offering a very simple but practical and proven strategy for how to discover the giftedness of one’s child.
BILL HENDRICKS is Co-Founder and President of Global Centre for Giftedness, which trains people to discover their giftedness and then apply those insights to the major areas of their lives. Bill also serves as the Executive Director for Christian Leadership at The Hendricks Center, a leadership development initiative of Dallas Theological Seminary. He is married to Lynn Turpin Hendricks and is the father of three daughters.
This interview was created by Moody Publishers.